About This Fish

Thresher Shark

The thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) is also known as Atlantic thresher, big-eye thresher, common thresher, fox shark, grayfish, green thresher, sea fox, slasher, swingletail, swiveltail, thintail thresher, thrasher, whip-tailed shark and Zorro thresher shark. It belongs to the family Lamniformes under order Alopiidae of class Elasmobranchii. It is found in tropical and temperate waters in almost every major ocean. It is found along the coast of North America from Oregon to Mexico in the Pacific Ocean and from Maine to Florida in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also commonly found around Asia and occasionally in the central and western Pacific Ocean.

The thresher sharks body is fairly slender with relatively small eyes. Body is brown, grey, blue-grey or blackish on back and underside of snout, lighter on sides and abruptly white below. Pectoral, pelvic and dorsal fins are blackish. Sometimes white dots are present on pectoral, pelvic, and caudal fin tips. It has curved narrow-tipped pectoral fin and a narrow-tipped caudal fin. Upper lobe of caudal fin is very long and strap-like about longer than length of rest of body while lower lobe is short but well developed. A conspicuous white patch is present over the pectoral fin base. It has two dorsal fins, of which, the first dorsal fin is large which originates from the middle point of the body while the second dorsal fin is small and it originates from behind the rear tip of the pelvic fin. It feeds on schooling fishes including mackerels, bluefishes, clupeids, needlefishes, lancetfishes and lanternfishes, squid, octopus, pelagic crustaceans and rarely seabirds. It is preyed upon by other sharks like makos and reef sharks. It researches sexual maturity at the age between 9 and 13 years. It breeds during the spring and summer. The female is oviviparous and can carry two pups at a time. It grows up to 760 cm in length and 340 kg in weight. It can live for 30 years.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New Hampshire
New York